Saturday the 5th of October 2013 saw the racist message of the far-right British National Party (BNP) firmly rejected by the people of Croydon, and effectively resisted by a broad coalition of the Left consisting of Communists, Socialist, Trade Unionists, and Disability Rights campaigners. A crowd of anti-BNP protestors numbering well over a hundred gathered outside the UK headquarters of the controversial Border Agency situated at Lunar House in Croydon. For over an hour members made rousing speeches attacking the fascism of the BNP, the fascism of the UK immigration service, and the fascism of the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the Labour Party. Much scorn was aimed at the Labour Party for its abandonment of the Working Class, and speech after speech called for Working Class solidarity across the political spectrum and across the world by emphasising Internationalism.
Valuable points were made that all of the ills of society – high unemployment, lack of council houses, lack of school places, lack of benefits, and of opportunities, all stem not from the presence of immigrants in the UK, but rather because of the relentless swing to the right of the mainstream political parties and the uncaring and draconian policies they have pursued when in office. The Working Class is impoverished in the UK because of one government after another, (including the wasted decade of New Labour in power), pursuing fascist policies advocated and supported by the BNP, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), as well as being favoured by the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph of the rightwing press. This systemic impoverishment of the Working Class has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do near sighted, narrow minded and xenophobic thinking. The British Working Class and the Working Class of the world are one entity and cannot be separated from one another by rightwing rhetoric. The British people stand firmly with immigrants and see them as brothers and sisters in equality.
The ConDem Coalition government of the UK has continued its attack on the British Working Class by systematically dismantling the Welfare State and the National Health Service so that the rich can have tax cuts for no reason at all other than to make an ideological statement. In the meantime, thousands starve, become maimed and disabled, and die of easily curable diseases and neglect. Britain, due to its shameful imperialist past is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and there is no need to cut the Welfare State or the NHS. Indeed, Britain is so wealthy that the Welfare State and the NHS should be extended so that private enterprise is permanently wiped out through disencouragement. There is certainly no reason to attack and demonise the Disabled in the UK by cutting their benefits and arbitrarily declaring them fit for work. In times to come this will surely be viewed as a crime against humanity.
Around twenty shaven-headed white males representing the far-right BNP turned-up at Lunar House protected by a heavy Police presence at 12pm – an hour late. Their anti-immigration speeches were drowned-out by the jeering, chanting, and howls of protests emanating from the Leftwing supporters. The only description that is apt for the meagre BNP presence is that they were small in number but big in flags. Ordinary Croydon people walking past and seeing what was happening, picked-up anti-fascists placards and spontaneously joined in the protest against the BNP. No passers by joined the BNP lines. After half an hour it was clear that the BNP lacked support and moral strength – their flags drooped, their heads fell and they sheepishly left the area. This was a victory for people power that Marx would have been proud of.
All people, regardless of their origins should be treated with respect, kindness, and understanding. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is an organisation motivated by discrimination, which routinely applies racist legislation to people coming to this country. People travel to economically better themselves. The UK allows unlimited Eastern and Central European immigration into its borders – but it is the Black and Asian (i.e. non-European) peoples that the UKBA viciously targets. It is these people that face the brunt of UK racist legislation. The Capitalist system encourages economically motivated migration from poorer areas to areas of greater richness – to prevent this phenomenon – a worldwide Socialist Revolution is required so that there is a re-distribution of wealth. Even if this happens, people should be free to travel regardless of their motivation to do so. We are all equal in our humanity.